Maybe a stupid question but is there any way to set up a cloud Ubuntu PC somewhere where I can install everything as usual and access it on several PC and OS?

For instance I want to continue my programming work with quickly+Glade on a windows XP PC at another place. I know there is VirtualBox but I don't want take care of files synchronization and VM is running very slow at my Windows PC.

Thanks for any suggestions!

  • 3
    What about Remote Desktop for this task? You'll be directly operating on your remote Ubuntu PC from your Windows PC with VNC.
    – Samik
    Jul 3, 2012 at 12:03
  • In general yes but this means my private PC has to run all the time, also when I'm in holidays. It would work but I would prefer an online solution.
    – snowflake
    Jul 3, 2012 at 12:53

2 Answers 2


There are several cloud images of Ubuntu running on Amazon EC2. They can be used by paying relevant costs on a per hour basis. This is the Public Cloud solution. The starting step-by-step instructions can be found in Ubuntu community wiki. You can then perform remote desktop operations on it by following this guide.

Another online solution will be installing Ubuntu cloud images in a cloud that you already own i.e. a Private Cloud. The cloud itself may be managed by a third party.

If you want to set up a cloud on your own hardware you can follow this guide in Ubuntu community wiki. But then you'll be responsible to keep your server(s) online.

These are some general pointers. I hope those who have more experience in this zone can provide you more specific answer.

  • The last link is broken.
    – snowflake
    Jul 3, 2012 at 18:49
  • @Stefanie Strange, I've just checked that link but it seems OK.
    – Samik
    Jul 3, 2012 at 18:54
  • It gives Internal Server Error with Chrome. Firefox works. Thanks anyway!
    – snowflake
    Jul 3, 2012 at 19:21
  • As far as I can tell, the Ubuntu cloud images are not Desktop images, but Server images, meaning they won't come with a GUI.
    – Chris
    Jul 11, 2019 at 12:25

I did this using FreeNX but do it a little different way:

Started with this:


I used Precise us-west 2 i386 ebs for the image.

Using the Micro Instance while being qualified for the Free Tier with the relatively new Billing Alerts they have, you can run Free for a year.

After you enable gnome, install FreeNX you can access the Virtual Desktop on AWS using the NX Local Client Free Download. If you add the NX web companion, you can use Java to access on any PC that allows Java to run that way without admin access on the host machine.

Runs like a champ and completely Free within the limits of AWS Free Tier. You can set up a different account if the Free Tier expires.

  • Here is a new Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS (Xenial Xerus) complete AMI that is already configured to run on the AWS Free Tier as a Linux Ubuntu cloud desktop. It includes xRDP already installed and configured, so you don't need to do all the ssh stuff and keys. Likely easier and faster to get there with this though: desktopanywhere.com/business-solutions/free-cloud-desktop
    – Jeff
    Oct 9, 2016 at 22:45

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